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adrian
06-29-2008, 04:30 AM
I'm just playing around with the Mudbox demo and I'm very impressed, although the display really becomes unmanagable when sub-dividing objects a few times but that my be down to my old Geforce FX 5700 graphics card.

When I imported one of my objects from LW into Mudbox the mesh seemed to get a bit deformed (some polys disappearing when subdividing). It also looks as if the demo version doesn't allow you to save objects so I can't reload it into LW to see how it looks. This is a bit naff as I wanted to fully evaluate the product before buying.

So for those that have it, does Mudbox integrate very well with LW, ie no probs importing meshes and then exporting them back to LW?

Also is the "basic" version good enough for most needs? I notice there is quite a price hike between the two versions.

SplineGod
06-29-2008, 07:29 AM
I would also check out www.3d-coat.com
3d coat supports LW far better then anything comparable and is far cheaper. :)

adrian
06-29-2008, 12:31 PM
Cheers Larry. Having played with Mudbox for a good few hours today I have to say it's a very impressive piece of software but.... not being able to import the mesh back into LW & getting mesh errors when subdividing in Mudbox itself leads me to believe that LightWave is not supported that well.

I'll check out 3d Coat - $120????!!!! Not being funny but how can it compare with Mudbox at that price? I hope it is though :thumbsup:

SplineGod
06-29-2008, 12:42 PM
Give it a try. You can use it for 15 days or so. Ive been using it in production and its damn amazing especially when you consider the price. Of all the displacement painting apps like mudbox or zbrush it supports LW far better then the rest.
It sees LWs layered UVs, will create endomorphs and when exported to LW will create the node network to be able to use the normal maps. Its a great piece of software and well worth more then they charge for it. The beta version, which you can DL now, has several new tools including a set of topology tools so you can create a lower rez mesh or a better flowing mesh on the current one loaded.

bobakabob
06-29-2008, 06:09 PM
Agree with Splinegod, 3D Coat is a genius piece of software and a gift at the price.

Otherwise there's the wonderful ZBrush which fits really well with Lightwave and you shouldn't have any problems transferring models between the two. Ignore negative comments about the 'awful' interface, it's perfectly logical once it clicks and after a while you forget you're working on a computer it's so intuitive. See Steve Warner's website and ZBrush central for tutorials.

adrian
06-30-2008, 02:31 AM
Thanks guys, will definately give 3D Coat a try tonight.

Funny Larry should mention endomorphs because I did wonder how Mudbox would deal with them.

cresshead
06-30-2008, 06:50 AM
one thing to take into consideration is that zbrush has no interst in your graphics card being ace and huge or tiny and lacking ram/open gl/direct x capabilities..

it uses it's own 2.5d technology to display millions of polys...so even on older systems with low end gamer cards as long as you have 1 or 2 gig ram you'll be fine for most sculpts you make.

Intuition
06-30-2008, 07:06 AM
Generally LW is in last place when trying to use Zbrush and or Mudbox due to its displacement technique. LW needs a bucket renderer so it can do micro poly displacements that don't kill your ram.

Yet that being said you can do a general displacement map and add the normal map to the bump map and get a similar look as a MPD engine like Vray, Mental Ray and Modo.

This was a render test of a mudbox test in Lightwave about a year + ago.

http://www.newtek.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=46197&d=1178927811

starbase1
07-01-2008, 06:01 AM
This may sound like a really dumb thing to say but I took a look at the 3d Coat web pages, and I'm still not sure what it actualy is!

Is it a 3d paint prog? A modelling prog? Some add ons for other programs? Do you model from scratch or use it to add fine detail? Does the detail come in as actual polygons or a displacement, a normal map, all the above?

I suppose the bottom line is, why would I want to use it?

Nick

Nicolas Jordan
07-01-2008, 08:38 AM
3D Coat is a painting and sculpting program. It odesn't have anywhere near the sculpting ability of Mudbox or Zbrush yet but I would say it's painting tools make up for that. Mudbox is by far the best sculpting program I have used but like some people here have said the support for Lightwave is weak. I own Mudbox and I am starting to get tired of jumping through so many workflow hoops with it just to get stuff to look right in Lightwave. Keep in mind though some have used Mudbox with Lightwave and have had great success since they understand the workflow between the two programs well.

SplineGod
07-01-2008, 08:47 AM
I think 3d coat has pretty decent sculpting tools. Andrew is also a maniac at updating and adding new features. One thing hes added in the beta (which you can download) is a GREAT topology tool.
3D coat creates normal maps, spec, diffuse/color maps and you can paint them all at he same time including displacements. It has layers and a ton of other tools.
It supports LW far better then the other two do. It supports LWs layers UVs and can export endomrophs. Also when you export to LW everything is automatically setup forf you as soon as you load the object including the node network for the normal maps.
I use it all the time in a fast production environment and its quick and very easy to use even without have to break open the docs. The price is also very nice. :)

CMT
07-01-2008, 08:50 AM
It looks like a great application. Right now I use ZBrush for sculpting and painting models. What other things would 3D Coat bring to the table? Is it quicker with some things? Or if there's something else it can do that ZBrush can't that would help my workflow, then I'd definitely consider adding it to my toolset. I just don't know that much about it and I'm on a Mac so I can't test it. All I've been able to do is view the vids they have on the site.

CMT
07-01-2008, 08:59 AM
Oh! Answered before I even finished my last post!

Sounds pretty good! I was hoping it could paint other material attributes other than color. That right there would be enough for me to grab it.

Now, when does it come out for Mac? :)

Actually, I have my Mac Pro setup with a Windows partition, so if it's going to be a long wait, I might just grab it for Windows. I did that for ZBrush 3 and still waiting for a Mac version of that for over a year....

starbase1
07-01-2008, 09:59 AM
I think 3d coat has pretty decent sculpting tools. Andrew is also a maniac at updating and adding new features. One thing hes added in the beta (which you can download) is a GREAT topology tool.
3D coat creates normal maps, spec, diffuse/color maps and you can paint them all at he same time including displacements. It has layers and a ton of other tools.
It supports LW far better then the other two do. It supports LWs layers UVs and can export endomrophs. Also when you export to LW everything is automatically setup forf you as soon as you load the object including the node network for the normal maps.
I use it all the time in a fast production environment and its quick and very easy to use even without have to break open the docs. The price is also very nice. :)

Sounds interesting...

One of the things I have wanted to do for ages is to work on making small worlds / asteroid type objects, perhaps by rolling something roughly spherical around and stamping craters on, (I am confident I could knock up or grab some decent displacement maps from real data).

Stamping some splats on for ray crater type features would be handy too...

I was put off by the price of other possible solutions, so perhaps 3d coat would be a good option?

bobakabob
07-01-2008, 10:24 AM
Sounds interesting...

One of the things I have wanted to do for ages is to work on making small worlds / asteroid type objects, perhaps by rolling something roughly spherical around and stamping craters on, (I am confident I could knock up or grab some decent displacement maps from real data).

Stamping some splats on for ray crater type features would be handy too...

I was put off by the price of other possible solutions, so perhaps 3d coat would be a good option?

You could do that no problem in 3D Coat - just make some crater alphas in Photoshop, import a basic mesh, apply UVs, turn up subdivisions and 'stamp' the craters into the geometry, export normal maps and / or displacement maps, along with the obj for use in Lightwave.

Personally I like painting in ZBrush but as Splinegod mentioned, 3D Coat has an advantage in that you can paint in multiple layers, just like Photoshop, so apply diffuse, spec, layers at your leisure and convert into screen, dodge, saturation if you need to.

It's one thing I can't figure out about ZBrush - it's a truly brilliant next generation sculpting and texturing app, but why is it missing this crucial feature to be found in a 60 app? Or am I missing something? :stumped:

adamredwoods
07-01-2008, 10:37 AM
3D Coat offers excellent texture painting tools that I haven't seen available in that price range.

It beats having to UV Unwrap and flipping between Photoshop and LW.

Recommended.